Friday, September 27, 2013

CA-7: Battleground for Moderates v. Conservatives

There is a debate within the Republican party. There's a group that defines themselves as conservatives and that they stand for Republican party policies. Anyone that disagrees with them is a RINO, Republican In Name Only. Once you call your opponent a RINO, you are the conservative and win the argument. Some conservatives argue that a conservative can win any district, as long as he or she clearly states what he stands for and can make the best conservative argument. Others argue that a conservative can't win a swing district.

Whenever a moderate loses a swing district, as Abel Maldonado did last year in CA-24, conservatives argue that voters don't want mushy centrists who vote for tax increases. When a conservative loses, moderates argue the conservative was too extreme. Conservatives will often dismiss such arguments, saying that the conservative didn't get proper party support or that Republicans were working against the conservative. "If we lose the primary, we support the Republican who wins. The RINOs don't do the same." Thus, a race like the 2010 Delaware senate race confirms both arguments.

Christine O'Donnell was too conservative to win!
She didn't get Republican party support and Mike Castle wouldn't endorse her!

This battle is once again on in CA-7. Democrats have one candidate, congressman Ami Bera. Former Tom McClintock (R-CA) staffer Igor Birman is taking up the conservative mantle, while former congressman Doug Ose has been cast as the RINO moderate. The 2012 Senate challenger Elizabeth Emken has been forgotten in this argument. There's no polling yet, although it seems likely that Birman starts with a huge deficit against better known opponents. Birman has secured the endorsement of Tea Party grassroots FreedomWorks. That could help him in the jungle primary if he can take advantage.

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